Light minimalist portfolios keep attention where it belongs: on the content. Portfolio sites are meant to show off some type of work be it art, design, writing, or anything else.
But picking a great portfolio theme can be challenging. That’s why I’ve gathered this set of the best responsive WordPress portfolio themes with a slant towards minimalism. I guarantee you can find something in this post that’ll fit your website perfectly.
With a full visual composer and many different layouts to pick from, the Weston theme is a game changer for online portfolios.
WordPress can be a hassle if you’ve never used it before. But with Weston you could be a complete novice and still get your portfolio site online fast.
Out of the box it comes with many premium features like a visual editor and the Slider Revolution plugin.
Plus the theme has many predefined template layouts from a general creative agency to a personal portfolio, and even business themes like a cafe or restaurant.
Weston is great for any website and it’s especially great for digital creatives who don’t know much about managing a website.
The Bramble theme is stylized with a light vertical sidebar navigation that stays fixed all throughout the site. When shrunken down a bit smaller the navigation hides behind a three-bar hamburger icon.
This technique is pretty common and it’s a staple for modern portfolios. If your site only has a few links in the navigation menu this theme will work incredibly well.
What I like most about this design is the attention drawn to the work itself. The theme comes with a few different portfolio layouts from smaller grids to multi-column designs that all adhere to basic minimalist design principles.
Another clean portfolio theme you might like is Filtered. This uses small block-style links to filter through portfolio items on the page.
If you’re a multidisciplinary designer then you can showcase everything you do all at once. You can organize by different types of design work, graphics, icons, UI/UX, or anything else you offer. This theme does have a repeating background style on larger screens but the responsive layout just uses solid colors.
With Filtered you’ll get a classic fixed-width layout with an old school navigation. It’s designed to work in all browsers without too many advanced features.
So if you just need something simple that works Filtered can fit the bill.
Beckett definitely seems more like a photographer’s portfolio theme. It avoids icons and textures but places a lot of attention on large fullscreen photographs.
The layout is fullscreen meaning you’d probably need large work samples to fit into the template. This is one other reason why photographers would do best using the Beckett theme. But it can also work for graphic designers or digital artists who create larger pieces.
With this theme you get all the typical WordPress blogging features along with a dynamic portfolio page. The design really plays on minimalism so it’s all about the pictures over anything else.
One thing I like about Infinity is the unique style and character added to the design. It goes beyond simple white minimalism to add textures and brilliant typography into every page.
Some designers may like this, others probably won’t. It really depends on the type of portfolio you’re looking for.
Again it is fully responsive and it takes a unique approach to the layout and the navigation. It uses very small navigation links so they can remain visible on all screens. The portfolio items take up the most space and this is exactly what you’d want on a typical portfolio site.
Infinity is a theme with pizzazz. If you’re looking for a minimalist style that breaks outside the norm I’d suggest giving this a shot.
Digital agencies tend to follow more grandiose designs compared to personal portfolios. But there is a lot of overlap since both sites focus on the work quality.
The Hayden theme caters more towards corporate creative agencies. It’s much darker and more professional than most “simple” portfolio layouts.
All content is centered and the theme includes little widgets for adding services & office locations. But these little features are totally optional so you can work around them if you just want a simpler layout.
But Hayden is also great for creatives who want a more professional attitude in their portfolio site. This theme is brilliant for getting started and showcasing your work in a confident manner online.
The headline “keep it simple” best describes Mellow. It seems like a unique portfolio design but it caters more towards the grid system. The main menu always hides behind a hamburger icon so it’s tailor-made for smaller screens.
And the same can be said for the portfolio grid which relies on fixed thumbnail sizes. When you click it loads a different page full of alternate photos and a brief description of the project.
Everything about the Mellow theme screams minimalism. It’s simple to look at, easy to use, and it places the content front & center on the page.
You can have motion and dynamic features on a minimalist layout. The Swell WordPress theme is proof that any portfolio site can work nicely with some custom animated effects.
By default this comes with a large hero header using a video background. This technique is most common with creative agencies so I think this might fit best as a corporate portfolio site.
However some people may want a large fullscreen video header to show off their work routine or their office space. The most complex part of Swell is this large header section, along with the more intricate portfolio page.
But these dynamic features don’t take away from the minimalist design style of the site. It’s prevalent on every page and it makes this theme a slam dunk for minimalist lovers.
The oddly-named Illdy theme is a free option you can try for a simpler portfolio design. It comes with an extremely bare-bones makeup so it’s not something you can just launch and get working quickly.
It does require time and patience to fiddle with. But it supports a large fullscreen header image along with a portfolio gallery, a services list, and a listing of recent news posts from the blog.
For the exquisite price of free you really can’t go wrong.
If you like the simple white background type of minimalism then take a look at the WP Portfolio theme.
This fills the gap that many designers are looking for in their websites. It comes with a default layout using a larger grid of thumbnails showcasing work right on the homepage. This is generally the best way to grab attention right on first pageload.
The only downside is that so many other designers run similar themes like this, so your portfolio may get lost in the crowd. If your work can stand out then you’ll do very well with a simple design.
So you want to launch a portfolio, and you’ve got some ideas for themes, but how do you proceed?
First think about the type of site you want. How do you want to present your work online? Do any of these themes feel like they’d fit your style? Make a list of any themes you like best and figure out why you like them. This can help you narrow down your selection.
It’s always easy to change your theme later but I hope this list can help you find a dynamite theme right from the get-go. And if you have other recommendations for minimalist portfolio themes you can share your suggestions in the comments below.